Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art That Upsets; The Freedom of Speech.

Andres Serrano

Lars Vilks

Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin

Recently swedish artists like Lars Vilks and Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin has created quite a stir all over the world with their controversial art. Another artists that has created the same effect with his art is the american artist Andres Serrano. The conversations that these artists are starting are many, but fundamentally it is about our human rights to the freedom of speech.


melissa tioleco-cheng said...

Interesting, Maria. I live in a bubble, so I can't imagine how these images would offend anyone. What is it about this art that upsets people?

Maria Johansson said...

In Serrano's piece from the series "The History of Sex" people have reacted to the relationships suggested between the people depicted in the photograph's. Most of Serrano's work investigates ppl's relationship to their body, other's bodies and body fluids. He does have a religious undertone that critiques the christian religion's especially roman catholic view of the body.
A link to show what happened when some extremists attacked the art:

Lars Vilks is by far the most critiqued artist. Last summer he had several death threats from various islamic groups world wide and his exhibit of these drawings that he calls "The Mohammad Drawings". It was so serious that our government had to step in to avoid a potential war. It is similar to the drawings made in Denmark 1.5 years ago, don't know if you've heard of it?

Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin is once again upsetting christians by depicting the LGTB community in photograph's set in various christin settings. Her point was that these are the ppl that Jesus would've turned to. She experienced several death threats when this series call Ecce Homo came out the 90's.

Beigene said...

It seems like the only people getting offended are religious groups and neo-nazis, who might as well be a cult, whilst the rest appreciates or are repulsed by the transgression. These artists KNOW people will be offended. They engineered the capacity of the work to affect "moral" sensibilities. That's the point. Remember Mapplethorpe?

melissa tioleco-cheng said...

Yes, I agree. So, I assume the public refers to the work as "shock art." The pieces are charged with social commentary in a similar way—created with the purpose of challenging the public and inciting debate.

Their messages seem positive to me. I hope they can successfully cultivate positive change.

Maria Johansson said...

Unfortunately it seem to have had the opposite effect on the religious groups that need the sensebility! Anyone know artists that have successfully made similar statement and actually been able to influence religious groups?
Also, in Serrano's case there has been questions regarding his artistic abilities. Using body fluids to made art did upset some artists too.

Maria Johansson said...

I do remeber Robert Mapplethorp.
I think what made his pieces successful was the sensibility that he brought to them. His photograph's are masculine, bold yet mysterious and there's no doubt about his artistic ability. Besides who can go wrong with using icons like Patty Smith and Deborah Harry?

Beigene said...

Yup but his more controversial photos were of fisting and homosexual acts depicted with beauty and reverence. It was a statement.